[By Lee Na Wen]
It’s not just the actresses, models and girl group members riding on the Hallyu wave of world domination that are having it, the everyday Korean noona and unnie from Dongdaemun to Namdaemunis flaunting absolutely amazing skin! While a perfect complexion doesn’t always come naturally, Korean women seem to have the regimen for flawless skin on lock. There must be something that these ladies are doing right, and it’s about time to take a page from their beauty bible if you desire softer and smoother skin this spring!
Double cleansed before bedtime
In Korea, every girl worthy of her Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick know that sleeping with your makeup on is THE top cardinal beauty sin to be avoided at all cost. Double cleansing is therefore the norm rather than exception, which sounds strange until you think back on all those times you washed your face, only to look in the mirror to find makeup residue in your pores or around your eyes. If you have normal to oily skin, you may use a makeup remover wipe to gently scrape off your urban war-paint. Every Korean makeup brand will come with pre-packed wipes with good-for-your-skin ingredients such as green tea, aloe, or lavender! But if you have dry or sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid wipes as they may cause skin irritation, itch and redness, especially with frequent use. Instead, gently massage a water based makeup remover into your skin with your fingers and wipe off thoroughly with cotton pads.
CHAI UNDO Super Gentle Facial Makeup Removal Mist is a super gentle makeup remover formulated to seep into makeup debris, dissolving oil slicks and coming off with a gentle wipe or rinse sans heavy rubbing. With this delicate dermal-saving mist that covers face, eyes and lips, all you need is to spray, wipe and rinse, an exceedingly simple way for makeup mavens to return to the nude in an elegant manner.
Proceed to follow up with a gentle foaming agent such as SKIN LAUNDRY 24K Gold Cleanser, a light multi-purpose facial cleanser specially formulated with 24k gold and champagne grape leaves extract which heals and regenerates skin while it cleanses skin deeply. Working even on light makeup while replenishing skin with vital essential oils and antioxidants, it is suitable for all skin types, especially mature, aging ones.Massage a small amount onto your face with moistened hands in circular motions to lift away the last traces of residual makeup and other surface impurities without striping away the layer of essential lipids protecting your skin, maintaining skin’s optimal pH needed to keep it healthy and well-hydrated.
Alcohol free toner
The average toner usually contains quite a fair bit of alcohol as its astringent property will help to temporarily shrink down enlarged pores. However, alcohol can be really drying and work against your skin in the long run. Korean ladies tend to favor clarifying toners, engaging their help to keep pores clean and fresh while hydrating their infamous ‘peau de porcelaine’ at the same time.
CHAI RESET Rejuvenating Facial Mist is a doctor-inspired, medical grade product developed with the collaboration of plastic surgeons, a multi-tasking tonic that brightens, hydrates, and purifies the look of your skin while maximizing the efficacy of your moisturizers and serums. With a skin-brightening booster, a potent anti-aging treatment essence and a skin-softening micellar water complex, RESET doubles up as a non-foaming facial cleanser that effectively removes light makeup while acting as a gentle toner to rebalance stressed, inflamed or sensitive skins, coaxing them into a relaxed, sublimely radiant state with glow and vitality. Truly a beauty prayer answered, especially for those with combination skin!
Spritz on some essence
The distinction between the role of essence and serum can be confusing even to the Korean beauty aficionado herself. From our understanding, an essence is generally seen as a thin, hydrating liquid meant to prep the skin for all other skin goodies, including serum(s), to follow. Some people swear by essences, while others see it as too similar to serums and therefore choose to skip them altogether. It is suffice to say that essences are rarely omitted in the daily skincare regime of every Korean lady, and this is perhaps the missing puzzle that’ll bring your beauty quotient to the next level!
Thicker than water, but lighter than a serum, SW1 UNICORN TEARS Adenosine Enriched Collagen Essence is uniquely placed to protect the skin from free radical damage while imparting an exquisite radiance and long-term resilience. This innovative water-based, dual purpose essence is enriched with adenosine which recharges skin cells, revitalizing and rejuvenating them in turn. It also contains tranexamic acid to keep complexions in a fair, flawless state, as well as retinol for anti-aging and anti-acne benefits. This all-round skin enhancer is a versatile skin refresher which can be used on its own or best paired with other serums and creams, leaving skin feeling bouncy and well-hydrated without a greasy note.
The paper mask-erade squad
While the trend of snapping selfies in a sheet mask is new (and really fun), sheet masks themselves have long been a beauty staple for every other Korean babe as much as kimchi is in their diet. With plenty of choices lining aisles after aisles from high-end beauty boudoirs to fuss free drugstores, we guaranteed that you’ll be able to find one, or most likely a dozen, to match every needs and any beauty budget of yours. These are essentially sheets of paper infused with skin goodies, to give your complexion an immediate power packed boost, following an application of no more than 10 to 15 minutes, suitable for regular use or as a pre-event ‘perk-me-up’. Aim to nourish your skin’s natural emollient system and prep it to a luxuriously luminous finish to bring out its full potential, giving your Korean counterpart some fierce competition on any given day.
Embracing sciences & technologies
While South Korea may earn a somewhat notorious reputation as a plastic surgery hub of the world, one must not be quick to judge her inhabitants. In Korea, most women are gunning for 100% absolutely flawless and pristine skin, and seeking professional help to address their skin issues is not seen as a chore or high maintenance. While one might not see eye to eye to the Korean lady’s quest for perfection, the sheer effort and commitment put in to achieve the elevated benchmark of Beauty is indeed commendable. Knowledge is definitely empowerment, so even if you don’t necessarily think that you need it at this point in time, keeping an open mind and knowing how the latest development in medical sciences might prove to be remarkably useful some day!
The new kid on the block for aesthetics light and lasers therapy is the Picosecond technology, and expectedly so, Picosecond lasers are currently the most adored in game-changing Seoul. As second generation lasers (after nanosecond lasers such as Revlite and Medlite) which hit the skin in super short pulses (a picosecond is a trillionth of a second), the laser can go strong where it’s directed, without harming normal surrounding skin and causing collateral damages. SW1’s Pico Smooth treatment uses the Pico Discovery laser in a skin smoothening protocol specially designed by their team of dedicated medical professional, ensuring maximal benefits with minimal downtime. Tailored to the specific needs of different individuals, specific settings dictating specific intensities are customized to generate controlled damage at a specific depth beneath the topmost layer of the skin, stimulating collagen and elastic tissue production with appreciable improvement in skin pigmentation and uneven discoloration as an added bonus.
“As opposed to traditional CO2 lasers and even newer fractionated CO2 lasers commonly used in skin resurfacing treatments targeting acne scars and photo-damaged mature skins, Picosecond lasers do not depend on induced heat generated for reach its therapeutic goals.” Says Dr. Kenneth Lee, medical director of the SW1 Clinic (formerly from The Sloane Clinic). “The Picosecond technology allows the use of light as the unfiltered, direct energy source by virtue of its speed of delivery, achieving similar, or perhaps even better end results.”
With comparably lowered risk of possible side effects such as hyper or hypopigmentation, often a limiting factor in type and/or intensity of laser treatments in darker skinned Asians. The post treatment downtime might be long at first glance, but the mechanism of high, albeit “controlled” impact actually translates to worse looking but shortened recovery period, largely manageable when one is made aware.